Senses of Freedom: Poetic/Hip Hop Day of Action for Sundiata Acoli – Sept. 22, 2014

Senses of Freedom: Poetic/Hip Hop Day of Action for Sundiata Acoli

Sundiata Acoli 1997

The Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign (SAFC) is calling for a national poetic/hip hop day of action for former Black Panther, former NASA mathematician, and political prisoner Sundiata Acoli on September 22, 2014.

Because Sundiata Acoli, in addition to his many other accomplishments, is also a poet and painter, we are calling for organizations and individuals to plan writing workshops and/or poetry readings/hip hop performances across the country and around the world for Sundiata. Sundiata’s writing prompt people are asked to respond to for the workshop and at the poetry readings is:

Sense(s) of Freedom: What would Freedom feel, look, taste, smell and sound like to you after the Revolution?

Sundiata will also create a new poem based on this prompt that can be shared at both kinds of events.

We keep an updated list of events happening across the country  – here on this website.

If you are interested in having an event in your city added to the list, please email


The Poetic/Hip Hop Day of Action follows and builds on the very successful  May 2nd Haikus for Sundiata,  a social media event that resulted in hundreds of haikus inspired by Sundiata (you can read them here:

Sundiata himself wrote two new haikus for the occasion, and other participants included journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal; poets Jessica Care Moore, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph;  Charlotte and Pete O’Neal (former Black Panthers currently in exile in Tanzania);  hip hop artists Sticman (from dead prez), Rebel Diaz, Kiwi Illafonte, and Gabriel Teodros.


On May 2, 1973, former Black Panthers Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur were ambushed and attacked by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Assata was wounded and Zayd was killed. During the gun battle a state trooper was shot and killed in the crossfire. Sundiata was tried in an environment of mass hysteria and convicted.

Sundiata is 77 years-old and has completed his sentence serving almost 40 years in prison. Despite having a clean disciplinary record and the fact that the recidivism rate for senior citizens is almost nonexistent, Sundiata has been denied parole numerous times. Currently we are waiting to hear back from the New Jersey courts on an appeal on the last parole hearing.


You can find more information on Sundiata’s case at:

Facebook: Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign

Twitter: SundiataAcoli